(1) The Department of Revenue may, for the purpose of collecting any delinquent taxes due from a taxpayer, including taxes for which a bill or notice has been generated, contract with any debt collection agency or attorney doing business within or without this state for the collection of such delinquent taxes, including penalties and interest thereon. The department may also share confidential information pursuant to the contract necessary for the collection of delinquent taxes and taxes for which a billing or notice has been generated. Contracts will be made pursuant to chapter 287. The taxpayer must be notified by mail by the department, its employees, or its authorized representative at least 30 days prior to commencing any litigation to recover any delinquent taxes. The taxpayer must be notified by mail by the department at least 30 days prior to the initial assignment by the department of the taxpayer’s account for the collection of any taxes by the debt collection agency.
(2) Any contract may provide, in the discretion of the executive director of the Department of Revenue, the manner in which the compensation for such services will be paid. Under standards established by the department, such compensation shall be added to the amount of the tax and collected as a part thereof by the agency or deducted from the amount of tax, penalty, and interest actually collected.
(3) All funds collected under the terms of the contract, less the fees provided in the contract, shall be remitted to the department within 30 days from the date of collection from a taxpayer. Forms to be used for such purpose shall be prescribed by the department.
(4) The department shall require a bond from the debt collection agency not in excess of $100,000 guaranteeing compliance with the terms of the contract. However, a bond of $10,000 is required from a debt collection agency if the agency does not actually collect and remit delinquent funds to the department.
(5) The department may, for the purpose of ascertaining the amount of or collecting any taxes due from a person doing mail order business in this state, contract with any auditing agency doing business within or without this state for the purpose of conducting an audit of such mail order business; however, such audit agency may not conduct an audit on behalf of the department of any person domiciled in this state, person registered for sales and use tax purposes in this state, or corporation filing a Florida corporate tax return, if any such person or corporation objects to such audit in writing to the department and the auditing agency. The department shall notify the taxpayer by mail at least 30 days before the department assigns the collection of such taxes.
(6) Confidential information shared by the department with debt collection or auditing agencies is exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1), and debt collection or auditing agencies shall be bound by the same requirements of confidentiality as the Department of Revenue. Breach of confidentiality is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided by ss. 775.082 and 775.083.
(7)(a) The executive director of the department may enter into contracts with private vendors to develop and implement systems to enhance tax collections where compensation to the vendors is funded through increased tax collections. The amount of compensation paid to a vendor shall be based on a percentage of increased tax collections attributable to the system after all administrative and judicial appeals are exhausted, and the total amount of compensation paid to a vendor shall not exceed the maximum amount stated in the contract.
(b) A person acting on behalf of the department under a contract authorized by this subsection does not exercise any of the powers of the department, except that the person is an agent of the department for the purposes of developing and implementing a system to enhance tax collection.
(c) Disclosure of information under this subsection shall be pursuant to a written agreement between the executive director and the private vendors. The vendors shall be bound by the same requirements of confidentiality as the department. Breach of confidentiality is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.